Review: LUZIA (Cirque du Soleil)

Luzia2Cirque du Soleil presents its new show inspired by Mexico: LUZIA in Toronto’s Port Lands

This hasn’t been a great year for Cirque du Soleil. I was terribly disappointed with the two shows they released earlier in 2016: their James Cameron Avatar spin-off TORUK which I found shamelessly commercial and utterly boring, and their misguided attempt at a Broadway musical, Paramour, which was savaged by the critics in New York.

When the company strays too far outside its idiom of artfully-staged theatrical circus shows, especially into the realm of narrative-driven, script-based shows, the results often fall short and fail to capture the magic and creativity on which the company built its name. However, their big top shows are the bonafide, quintessential Cirque du Soleil experience and I’m happy to report that their newest show, LUZIA, is a return to form for the company. Continue reading Review: LUZIA (Cirque du Soleil)

Review: A Doll’s House (Soulpepper)

A Doll's House, Soulpepper

Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre presents a contemporary take on Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen premiered A Doll’s House in 1879. The play, which explores a complex moral crisis of a female protagonist, was progressive for its day and surprisingly feminist (though Ibsen himself eschewed that label). But what happens when a play that’s so critical of the patriarchy and rigid societal structures of the 19th century gets transposed to a contemporary setting? The result in director Daniel Brooks’ production for Soulpepper is surprising, searing and thought-provoking. Continue reading Review: A Doll’s House (Soulpepper)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of July 25th

dollFive Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

This week we have a truly diverse lineup! From interactive historical shows to outdoor fairy tales to festivals dedicated to short acts, there’s something here to scratch every individual’s itch. It’s all part of the rich and varied summer theatre season in our fairy city, and the picks this week are determined to reflect that! Best of all, there’s all budget-friendly. Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of July 25th

Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of July 25th

dollShows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of July 25th

This week, we’ve got some interactive theatre on offer, as well as a number of festivals covering burlesque, one-act plays, and lots of other specializations! The summer theatre scene is in full swing, and we have our Editor Samantha here to help you narrow things down. Her picks are highlighted in red text under the cut!

Continue reading Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of July 25th

Review: Shakespeare in High Park – Hamlet (Canadian Stage)

Photo of Rose Tuong and Frank Cox O'Connell in HAMLET by Cylla von TiedemannCanadian Stage presents the classic Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet in Toronto

As far as I’m concerned, summer in Toronto isn’t complete without an evening with the Bard under the stars. Every year, Canadian Stage comes through offering a comedy (in the form of All’s Well that Ends Well this year) and a tragedy (Hamlet) on alternating nights encouraging audience members to grab blankets, pack a picnic, and sit under the stars at the High Park Ampitheatre for the show.

I managed to luck out in previous years with glorious weather on opening nights — warm night with a cool breeze and a sky full of stars. Unfortunately this year that was not the case and the opening night for Hamlet was met with a torrential downpour that lead to the show being cancelled midway, despite the cast and crew doing their best to power through. Fortunately enough, my second attempt to attend was the charm.

Continue reading Review: Shakespeare in High Park – Hamlet (Canadian Stage)

Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Driftwood Theatre)

Two performers interactToronto’s Driftwood Theatre boldly reinterprets Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew

Driftwood Theatre’s bold reinterpretation of The Taming of the Shrew, set during the 1989 Toronto Pride Festival, manages to turn Shakespeare’s most problematic comedy into an enjoyable night at the park.

I love Shakespeare, but I only love modernized Shakespeare when there is a clear artistic purpose behind the modernization. Fortunately, that’s exactly the case in Driftwood Theatre’s production. Bring a jacket for the evening chill, a blanket or a lawn chair for the dusty grass, and an open mind.

Continue reading Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Driftwood Theatre)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of July 18th

Photo of Dance Animal castFive Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

The loose theme this week is parents and children: we’re all one or both of these things, and whether you’re royalty or a Millennial, there’s always something to relate to in shows that deal with the often tenuous relationship between family members. In case this doesn’t strike your fancy, however, we’ve also got a horror cabaret to keep things interesting, and a total no-brainer with some returning Fringe shows. Check ’em out under the cut! Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of July 18th

Review: Peter and the Starcatcher (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Jason Gray as Black Stache and Nathaniel Kinghan as PeterToronto’s Lower Ossington Theatre presents Peter and the Starcatcher, a quintessential family show

It’s a sad fact of life that we all grow up, but if you want to feel like a kid again, you could go see Peter and the Starcatcher, running from July 7th to August 28th at the Lower Ossington Theatre. My guest and I had a lot of fun watching this play, though in retrospect I probably should have brought my 14 year old sister instead of my 24 year old cousin. This is a quintessential family show that reminds me of a Pixar movie in the way that viewers of all ages will be able to enjoy it for different reasons. Continue reading Review: Peter and the Starcatcher (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of July 18th

RomeoShows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of July 18th

This week, we’ve got some magic shows and cabarets interspersed with more traditional fare. There are a few new Soulpepper offerings and Shakespeare in the Park has officially settled into high Park. There’s a lot more going on in town than just the summer giants, though, and Megan is here this week to select her particular picks in red text. Check it out under the cut!

Continue reading Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of July 18th